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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Adut Zita Deng Ngor


Adut Zita Deng Ngor has devoted her career to providing legal services to disadvantaged members of the community, particularly those experiencing family violence.

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Zita Ngor has acquired 15 years’ experience as a lawyer specialising in civil law, immigration and family law.

She was five years old when she arrived in Australia as a refugee from South Sudan and was the first Sudanese woman to graduate from law in Australia, completing her undergraduate degree at Flinders University in 2003.

Ngor has completed a Masters of Public and International Law at Melbourne University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Australian Catholic University. She has also a tutored and lecturer Family Law at Flinders University.

In 2013, Ngor was the first African-Australian woman to run for the federal Senate.

For the last nine years, Ngor has been the chief executive of Women’s Legal Service (SA) Inc – a not-for-profit organisation that operates under the national Women’s Legal Services Australia (WLSA) umbrella.

Women’s Legal Service (SA) was founded in 1995 and provides free legal advice and representation for women experiencing domestic violence and matters linked to family law.

As chief executive, Ngor has grown Women’s Legal Service (SA) on a grass-roots level as well on a corporate level, guiding the organisation through substantial growth including a doubling of its revenue base.

In 2016, she was selected as one of four South Australian finalists for the Australian of the Year Award.

This month, she was named in InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

People and, in particular, your staff are your most important resource and ‘branding’ for your business, regardless of whether you are a private or for purpose business.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

South Australia is a great place to do business because its size and location in Australia – the bridge between the east and west of Australia – allows it to be a great testing ground for new products and innovative ways of doing business. In the for-purpose sector, this is particularly the case.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

South Australia needs to be committed to supporting and providing resources to drive innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit in South Australia. We need to be less afraid of taking risks because great learnings that provide the springboard for future success can be obtained from failures.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 

I definitely see my future in South Australia and see South Australia always remaining my base regardless of where my journey takes me next.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Our state needs to provide more opportunities for young leaders and emerging leaders to be supported, mentored and take on key roles of responsibility that propel our state, the country and the world forward. Our young leaders are our present and the future.

To see the full list of 40 winners, go here.

InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.

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